jrhopkins

swimbait size?

13 posts in this topic

was wondering about the sizes of other guys swimbaits. i have made all the way up to 14" for special orders but usually 6-7" for the big ones and smaller ones usually 4-5"

the reason is because i went to a huge flea market over labor day weekend to try to sell some of my lures. over 500 vendors there selling everything from bed sheets to tractors. 1000's of people.

only sold 6 lures:cry:. rained all weekend!

the most frequent question asked was "you fish with lures that big?" average size i had on display was 5", multi-jointed lures )

i assume that other than bass and muskie, pike fishermen, most are not aware of the " big lures for big fish theory".

sold all the lures to bass fishermen there.

just wondering if i need to downsize? although getting all the joints in a small lure ( under 4" ) would be a pain!!

any thoughts??

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@ jrhopkins

Not talkin'bout swimbaits in particular , as they're not that widely used as other lures here in Germany ,...... but I hardly see any angler , that has a bigger lure tied on ,.......spoons up to 3 1/2" , plastic shads up to 6" , crankbaits also not bigger than that , but rather smaller .

In my opinion they prefer having the chance of more strikes by just average fish rather than targeting the few big ones exclusively with larger lures .

Also big lures most likely only produce better towards fall and winter over here , as the pike are heading out for real big snacks to save energy in the colder water .

greetz , Dieter:yay:

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most of the people here are " weekend trout waiters". they go out on the weekend with the $9 walmart combos, throw a line out and wait for a fish to come by:yawn:.

went out yesterday and caught 2 nice smallmouth on one of my " too big" swimbaits ( 5" lure ). fall is coming so the big fish bite should get better.

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@ jrhopkins

Guess , that this is a widely spread attitude down here as well , .........but I frequently increase my lure's sizes for October/November and December before closing time 1st of January , and it hardly ever turned out bad to do so !

Always rearrange my boat tackle box for that reason for fall season .

I've sometimes heard from other anglers , that ....."what kinda log's you've got on , do you wanna slay the fish with these....?"

Still other fishermen would ask in astonishment......"and they really eat that big bait....?"

Well , I know bettter..........;):yes::lol:!

Guess , you'd need to convince potential customers , that bigger lures than 4" still not only do produce , but definately produce bigger fish ,..........so you should have at least some pictures exactly showing that on display as well .

Would be not practical to take up the headaches of making smaller lures ,...... and maybe even not getting payed for them sufficiently , as people might wonder , that why a bigger lure is possibly cheaper than a smaller one:huh: ?????

greetz , Dieter:yay:

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This is JMHO. I live in the SE U.S. and never see swimbaits in tackle shops. I think swimbaits for bass is still a niche deal concentrated in southern California. Pro tourney fishermen are spreading it to other areas, including large southern reservoirs. But it has not really caught on among "Average Joes". Even among the pro ranks, you see it employed mostly in the pre-spawn to immediate post-spawn period on lakes where there are large bass and large prey fish. I'm not saying it SHOULD be that way, it's just my sense of things from watching TV tournaments. Also, anything larger than a 1 oz swimbait really needs a special rod/reel that Joe Average doesn't own, and he's not enthusiastic about throwing a big bait all day to catch fewer but maybe larger bass. You need to market baits to your specific customers. You'd probably get best sales at a regional fishing show in early spring, and the closer to southern California the better.

Edited by BobP

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The problem is you went to a flea market and 99% of people don't know anything about swimbaits. Swimbaits appeal to a very narrow group of anglers that have generally done a fair amount of fishing in their life and are targeting trophy size fish. The average angler fishes a few times a year using night crawlers and spinners and knows nothing about swimbaits. It would be like trying to sell a $10,000 racing bicycle at Wal-Mart.

RM

Edited by RiverMan

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the flea market was a cheap trial run, $100 for 4 days.

the local outdoors/fishing/boat shows start out at around $500 for 3 days. i may give that a try come spring.

walmart would sell that bike for $9,999.:lol: and it would be imported.

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Ya 500 sounds like alot but the number of potential customers is probably 5000% higher. I make swim baits also and the smaller 456" ones get the most interest. Maybe if there is some explanation for the reason that the bass in so cal are the only ones that eat baits that big. I live in cen cal near the delta and get some interest but not as much as I would like.

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John,

River is right. Swimbaits appeal to a small percentage of fishermen. This group likes to target trophy fish 'cause they have fished long enough that numbers don't mean as much anymore.

I live in Kentucky and make 7" swimbaits. Don't have a big calling for them. Make them for myself and 3 friends. We catch a whole lot of "keeper" bass on them as well as some of the larger bass that are in the area. However, we also use them quite a bit in Dale Hollow and Pickwick to target the larger smallies that are swimming down there. Also a lot of big largemouth in both lakes. These fish have Rainbow trout to feed on as their brothers and sisters in California. So these fish like the larger swimbaits. I know that others use swimbaits to target these fish, but I think they are keeping their success to themselves and not letting the word out.

I bought two of your Taliapia baits to take to Mexico and had real good success on them. Taliapia are the main forage for those fish and your baits are spot on those bait fish. In fact, we stopped one of the commercial fishermen one day and he let us compare your baits to an actual taliapia. Couldn't hardly tell the difference.

A flea market is a difficult place to sell baits of your caliber. Unless fishermen who know what is really going on come along you are going to hear a lot of "what do you expect to catch on those?".

Just keep up your great work. You are a true artist and we need guys like you around.

David

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hey David,

showed your pics of the bass you got in Mexico! ooh, ahh, holy crap!! :drool: really a lot of admirers of the fish. had some other pics to show but not a lot.

i agree that the swimbaits are a select group lure and specific gear is needed, something the weekend fisherman is not going to have.

i keep making them along with some smaller ones for something to do. have about 60 different sizes, colors, patterns on hand now and should have that many more by spring. fun hobby at any rate, beats watching the tube or flat screen i guess they all are now.

think i might do one of the outdoor shows next spring. they're fun even if i don't sell a lot. planning on building a portable test tank to demo in too. might be a good selling feature if they can test swim the lure.

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The perfect size is the one that catches either the biggest fish or the most fish (whatever your wanting basically)! Most people don't understand swimbaits. I live in Indiana and a 15" bass will eat a 6.5" shad quite regularly. If they can get there mouth around it, they will eat it. People will think this is too big for a bass but then will go and throw a 12" worm and not think twice. Even fishing shows would be hard to sell such intricate lures. No matter what, the price on your lure will be compared to a lure mass manufactured in China. Everybody loves American made... until they see the price.

Your lures are probably the best I've seen... definately the most discrete. The lobster is my fav! I will show my buds that one most times... ask them how much they'd pay for it... and then show them the thread describing all the effort. Not too many people would work for a buck an hour! Good thing we do this for fun ;)

I wish I could help more! Don't feel bad about not selling much... your work is very inspiring to everyone on this site!

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Dont fret over it John. River is right. It wasnt your baits or the size of them, it was your customer base. If you want a a good gauge of how your baits will sell then you need to show them to guys who fish for big fish. If you bring your baits to a fishing show where where most guys around that area are trout fisherman your still not going to have great results. Bring them to a big show where bass or musky are the theme.

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John - that test tank sounds like a good idea, at least you can mesmerise them with the action. If you can't sell them there you would have no chance here, I keep telling them we (Australian makers) are in the dark ages here and I just get ignored for the most part - even my little 3 1/2" swim bait is an oddity, although I think something bigger, say 5-6" would be a snack for a Murray Cod (up to 100 lb) which have not trouble cleaning up a large Carp, but lure makers here seem to be stuck in the eighties, "it works so why change it".

Another problem we would have here and I am sure there, is everyone would be thinking nice lures at $50, now all I need to do is swindle another $50 off the misses for a rod to cast it, and this is where his fantasy stops - maybe make some smaller ones, and like you say a test tank would be a good way to show any of your beauties off - There is some things you can do to shorten the work time taken in making these smaller 'swim baits', you may have simplify the hinges.pete

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